Vibration/tumble polishing?

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TomJ
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Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by TomJ » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:37 pm

There's a lot of overlap between flute making and jewelry making. I've read that jewelry makers use tumble and vibration polishers, using various polishing media from steel shot/pins to walnut shells. Do these have any use for cleaning & polishing flute parts?

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JButky
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by JButky » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:42 pm

TomJ wrote:There's a lot of overlap between flute making and jewelry making. I've read that jewelry makers use tumble and vibration polishers, using various polishing media from steel shot/pins to walnut shells. Do these have any use for cleaning & polishing flute parts?
Yes, they are used by some techs. Not a majority but they are in use...
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mirwa
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by mirwa » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:05 pm

I have and use one, its only suitable for keys and only after pads have been removed, mine is large enough to fit 4 complete flutes in (as I do saxophone keys) but I would not put the body in one as they need to be able to tumble through the mix, the machines are circular so it makes it bit unsafe for flute bodies

TomJ
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by TomJ » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:25 pm

So what medium do you use? And how long does it take? Also, does it work on plated flutes?

fluteguy18
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:31 pm

I've used one before and I'm not totally sure how I feel about them to be honest. I have a vibrating tumbler that's fairly large (about 2 feet in diameter) and I've used it when I have so many things to get finished that I don't have time to do it all by hand. It's mostly been nickel plated keywork. My understanding is that you can use abrasive media and burnishing media. When I was in repair school we used ceramic media that supposedly didn't remove any material. At my current shop we use a green media for nickel keywork and a red media for silver. Not sure what it is quite yet or how abrasive it is. It did however do a marvelous job on some severely oxidized clarinet keys a few weeks ago. They keywork was beautiful afterwards.

One of my biggest concerns about using a vibratory tumbler is that if you use a media that is like sand instead of beads that the grit will work its way into screw threads. To prevent that from happening I've always melted wax into the threads and then melted it back out when it was all finished. That being said, I've only used them a few times. I'm not sure that its something I'm going to do regularly. I don't like the fact that I can't really control how much material is being removed or how quickly it is being removed. That being said I've not had any mishaps so far, nor have the faculty at the repair school I attended (and they've been using them for years).

mirwa
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by mirwa » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:47 am

I use crushed walnut with a lubricant, we average somewhere between 5-10 repads a week, so its always being used. Our machine has maybe cleaned the keys of about 4000 instruments

Again, it is not suitable for padded keys.

I have not found it necessary to block any hinge tube off.

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JButky
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by JButky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:14 pm

You can do the whole body too. My good friend Larry Gerhardt demonstrated his vibratory setup at our repair clinic last year. He built a frame which holds the flute body parts. I forget which media he was using, but it does an impressive job. Pic Attached
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Polisher 2.jpg
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Joe B

fluteguy18
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by fluteguy18 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:36 pm

Interesting. I don't think that I can get a body in mine (there's a fairly wide spindle in the middle), but I'm going to find out.....

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JButky
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by JButky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:10 pm

fluteguy18 wrote:Interesting. I don't think that I can get a body in mine (there's a fairly wide spindle in the middle), but I'm going to find out.....
The bracket in his hand has a ring where he's holding it. Goes over the spindle like a lamp shade...
Joe B

fluteguy18
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by fluteguy18 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:45 pm

Hmmmmm...... If I can get a body in the tumbler, I have a feeling that I will be making one of those this upcoming week.

bigbandaxes
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Re: Vibration/tumble polishing?

Post by bigbandaxes » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:33 am

I use corn husks and powdered red rouge. Works great.

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